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Royal Loses Its Aces but Still Wins

Volleyball: Newbury Park learns reports of Highlanders' demise grossly exaggerated.


SIMI VALLEY — Pick a cliche, any cliche.

The river had run dry. The well was empty.

Some people even referred to a time-honored phrase, the cupboard was bare at Royal High.

Shame on them.

Despite the graduation of Ryan Moberly and Cam Dickson, who both signed with Division I colleges, Royal is as strong as ever in boys' volleyball, as evidenced by a 15-1, 15-4, 15-3 victory over Newbury Park in a Marmonte League opener Wednesday night at Royal.

It was the 78th consecutive league victory for the Highlanders (3-0), who made one thing very clear against Newbury Park: They're as stocked as a pay-by-the-pound trout farm.

The Highlanders rotate three strong middle blockers and have one of the best up-and-coming setters in the region, sophomore Bart Kowalski.

Then there's the bevy of outside hitters. They can pass. They can hit. They can play.

"The cupboard is not even close to bare," said Coach Bob Ferguson of Royal. "If anybody thought that, they were wrong."

Just ask Newbury Park (1-2).

Royal was never threatened, unless you count a 1-0 deficit in the second game.

It quickly vanished after an 8-0 run by Royal, which ran its all-time Marmonte League record to 127-1.

"Something about this gym, our kids just seem to lose it big-time," said Coach Ed Bond of Newbury Park. "My guys just can't get it out of their heads. Hopefully, when we get them at our place, it will be different."

The Highlanders' individual statistics weren't eye-opening, but few impressive numbers can be accumulated in a 53-minute match.

Karl Walck had eight kills and Scott Motzel added five.

Walck, 6 feet 5, and Motzel, 6-7, rotated at middle blocker with 6-6 David Russell, who delivered kills on all four of his attempts.

A true volleyball rookie even played well for Royal.

Sanderson Bogea, a foreign exchange student from Brazil who was cleared to play by the Southern Section on Tuesday, had four aces.

A soccer player by nature, Bogea had never played in an organized volleyball match, but demonstrated a sterling jump serve.

Perhaps Walck, the lone returning starter from last year, said it best.

Moberly, who signed with BYU, and Dickson, who signed with Cal State Northridge, will be missed.

But not that much.

"We have so many new good players coming up, it doesn't really matter," Walck said. "Every player this year is as important as anybody else."

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